It happened similar to the players’ anticipations, yet different as well…
Annan didn’t grab and spin the Rotten Man upside down while launching him towards the ground. Delivering the attack in this manner wouldn’t be effective.
Since the Rotten Man had managed to escape from death in the previous exchange, Annan was fairly certain He could avoid death using the same way.
Moreover, Annan was skeptical whether this level of physical attack would be effective against a near-deity level being.
The Rotten Man didn’t feel nervous about receiving this attack either.
Annan’s surprise attack via negative energy caught Him a little off guard. He hadn’t prepared any corresponding countermeasures. However, the attack dealt negligible damage, and only served to give him a slight uncomfortable ache. After all, the deity was immune to the move’s instant death effect.
He might need to put some thought into choosing the right Alteration to escape Annan’s clutches, yet he wasn’t concerned with Annan’s plan to continue knocking him up to the air.
As a matter of fact, the sky of this world wasn’t that high either.
If Annan continued to launch himself up to the sky along with the Rotten Man, he would soon exceed the barrier height of the Noah Kingdom and would be exposed to the Gray Mists. By then, the Rotten Man would be in an advantageous situation and would choose to instead not let Annan escape.
When the effect of the Sage’s Stone on Annan was lost, he would lose control of himself and wither away after being exposed to the mists.
On the other hand, the Rotten Man could survive in the Gray Mists for a long time since he was a demi-deity.
This would be similar to the Rotten Man forcing Annan out of the Circle .
The Rotten Man would then be able to acquire the torn Truth pages without even killing Annan. After all, it was Annan himself who launched this suicidal attack. Even if the Silver Sire or the Old Grandmother confronted, the Rotten Man would have an excuse for it.
If the two Upright Deities couldn’t get the evidence, they couldn’t just vent their anger on the Rotten Man and violate the agreement.
The twelve upright deities didn’t have much additional power in disposal due to their sacred mission in maintaining the barrier and conserving their energy. They were ancient beings, at the very least existed before the First Age. So even though their power was superior to the junior false deities, they didn’t have the freedom to simply do as they wanted.
After all, false deities had no obligation to support the barrier. Instead, they were like online gamers who were not busy with work and study.
Thus, in the face of Annan’s sudden attack, the Rotten Man didn’t resist nor break free.
No matter if Annan pushed the Rotten Man forward and killed innocents in the process, pushed him up until he left the barrier, or stopped the magic, he wouldn’t take the initiative to escape.
Only if Annan tried to ground him would he consider taking a risk and performing alchemy with himself as the subject.
At the same time, Annan also guessed what the Rotten Man was thinking.
When Rotten Man barely resisted, Annan had already realized the Rotten Man’s goal as he launched him continuously to the air at a higher altitude.
Therefore, Annan had adjusted his plan.
Annan intended to duplicate the binding technique he saw from Kafni.
He controlled the many silver-gray light tentacles protruding from his body with difficulty and gradually entangled Rotten Man’s body.
Annan wasn’t proficient in grappling or joint locking . He also wasn’t sure how to restrict the Rotten Man’s limbs, but he intended to overcome this challenge with brute strength.
Annan sent out 30 tentacles to wrap the Rotten Man without any reservations. His focus was on every joint of the target’s fingers, and most importantly, covering the target’s mouth.
Of course, this series of actions was more than just restricting the Rotten Man.
After Annan lost his perception of spatial distance, he could pinpoint the opponent via the subtle movements through the tactile sensation transmitted by the light tentacles wraped on the target.
Annan stopped maintaining the [Notion Rain] spell.
Even so, the drizzle in the sky didn’t stop immediately. It was still falling sparsely, but Annan lost his senses via the drizzle as a medium.
However, it didn’t matter anymore. He had pinpointed the Rotten Man’s location using the tentacles already.
Immediately after, a silver-gray shimmer flashed in Annan’s eyes.
A thick gas wall emerged silently behind Rotten Man – [Impeding Wall]!
Rotten Man was deeply trapped inside the Impeding Wall.
The speed of his upward flight was significantly reduced in an instant.
Like a pulse, Annan’s bursts of gray light spread outwards, but they were still pushing the Rotten Man upward.
The two of them were just like that, hanging high in the air in a strange state as if time had stagnated.
“—Wait, you’re seeing it that way too.”
“—Maybe they’re having fun in a world we can’t see…”
“—Hmm, I think the tentacle version of Annan is more handsome than the hedgehog version.”
“—Nonsense, obviously the hedgehog version is cooler!”
“—Aren’t the light blades cool? It’s like a better Jedi.”
“—I think Annan is beginning to summon the [Universe of Endless Blades]…”
Annan couldn’t last long.
The Rotten Man was deeply trapped in the Impeding Wall, while Annan locked His fingers together tightly with tentacles. It took a lot of effort to move and the never-ending negative energy storm gradually tore at his flesh. Soon, he became irritated.
The Rotten Man simply used the Impeding Wall as a fulcrum behind him to grab Annan’s light tentacles. Then, he turned his wrist slowly but firmly, trying to drag Annan towards him.
Ha, I finally did damage to Him! Hahaha! Annan was enthralled.
Before Annan was dragged too close, Annan sensed an assaulting lemon and citrus scent coming from the blood oozing out from the Rotten Man’s body.
This scent made the Rotten Man in Annan’s eyes slow down incredibly.
Wait, this isn’t a mere illusion.
The fragrance had indeed greatly increased Annan’s perception. He opened his panel and noticed that his Perception attribute rose at an alarming rate every second.
But, Annan soon noticed something was wrong. The world in front of him became increasingly slow and gradually became static.
The whole world in front of Annan fell into almost complete stillness in the end. He could feel his existence, but he couldn’t even move a finger. He would need to exert all his focus and energy to do this simple movement coherently. Otherwise, the thought of “lifting a finger” in his mind would disappear in a split moment.
What the hell is this?
Gold VIP experience or superhuman drug?
Annan’s thinking became clear and active.
However, the whole world before his eyes was completely still.
Is this Rotten Man’s final trump card?
Annan finally realized the Rotten Man’s approach in combat.
He was almost the complete opposite of the Venerated Skeleton.
He didn’t believe in the deterrence of “fear,” “inhibition,” and “despair.” Instead, he used people’s desires to manipulate people.
He tempted mortals with immortality and rebirth, rather than threatening people with death; He utilized sleepy and relaxing aromas to make people tired, not stench to make people dizzy; He used warm, ambiguous touch to obscure people, not pain.
Even if he could do all these things, the Rotten Man was more willing to use people’s desires.
Just like now, overdosing on thinking acceleration could be poison.
Even after Annan thought about everything clearly, the outside world remained unchanged.
He could only rely on his last willpower through a long and continuous conflict in his mind to cancel his light tentacles, light blades, and [Chaos Spell: Denial of Life].
While maintaining the [Impeding Wall], Annan fell downward exceptionally slowly in the long and endless world.
Annan just stared at Rotten Man with eyes wide open.
He sketched the Rotten Man’s features in his heart, engraving it deep in his memory.
Annan then analyzed all the decisions he made after he came to this world several times in his mind.
Annan completely immersed his will in his body, feeling the power at the “Truth Level” and how the elements burn and burst out of the soul.
Annan didn’t know how long time had passed, but when he abruptly woke up, it felt as though he’s just experienced a long dream.
When Annan’s consciousness returned, he heard the Silver Sire’s bright and cheerful voice.
“You lost, the Rotten Man. The Deity of Mirror and Clock is born. Stop whatever you’re doing.”
“Our contract still has to be fulfilled because I didn’t intervene you from fighting just now, so your believers belong to me. You don’t want to go back on your promise, do you?”
“…Naturally not.” Rotten Man’s low voice sounded.
Annan opened his eyes and found that his vision, hearing, touch, and sense of time had returned to normal.
It should be thanks to the Silver Sire’s treatment.
At this time, the Silver Sire had His arms around Annan from behind – the Rotten Man stood in front of Him.
The Rotten Man stared at Annan as if to carve him deep into his mind.
Annan glared back without fear.
I shall remember you too, stupid eunuch.
Although Annan was incapable of feeling anxiety, loneliness, and fear, he didn’t completely go crazy in this world… and yet the eternal stagnant world would remain fresh in his memory.
Since Annan came into this world, the Rotten Man was the first person who actually harmed him.
Annan grew more modest after this event.
He learned that just because he was unable to feel negative emotions or experience pain, it didn’t mean he could act without any scruples.
With the last of the baby’s cries, the Rotten Man’s mirror image froze and disintegrated away.
And thus, there would no longer exist another who could claim the deity slot of “Mirrors”.
The old, dead mortal Michelangelo Buonaro had been reborn into a new deity, Michel Nottdamm.
Even if he wasn’t yet born, he knew what had happened outside.
So the first thing he did after obtaining the authority was to deprive Rotten Man of the right to use the Mirror authority to maintain the image and kick him away.
The Silver Sire put Annan down.
Countless silver threads reached out from his cuffs and quickly wove a silver-white robe for Annan. It also blocked others’ gaze before Annan was fully dressed up.
“You did a great job, Annan.”
Silver Sire felt a little worried but proudly touched Annan’s head. Then, he bent down and said in a low voice, “I will come to talk to you later.”
With that, the Silver Sire turned around and looked at the mansion.
“A new fellow deity—”
He declared in a loud and cheerful voice, “Behold the Deity of Mirror and Clock!
“How shall this world refer to You?”
After a very short pause, a peculiar voice that seemed to come from an old man and a baby at the same time sounded in the room, “The Man in the Mirror.” He said, “From now on, I will be ‘the Man in the Mirror.'”
Credits to MindMatrix for editing this chapter and improving the readability.
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